The San Jose Sharks have never drafted a goaltender in the first round. They’ve never even drafted a goaltender in the second round.
In fact, they’re the only active NHL franchise — except for the still relatively-new Vegas Golden Knights — to never draft a goalie in the first two rounds.
Yesterday at San Jose Hockey Now, we discovered this was no accident.
“We were never big on drafting goalies early,” Ray Payne, San Jose scout from 1990-94 and 1996-2004, said. “We had a lot of guys on our staff who were ex-goaltenders. Cap Raeder, Warren Strelow, Wayne Thomas. Their feeling, and it permeated throughout the staff, was we’re not going to take a goalie high. It’s just too much of a risk.”
Can you name the highest-drafted goalie in San Jose Sharks history?
|Team||Established||Highest-Drafted Goalie||Round||Pick||Draft Year|
|Anaheim Ducks||1993||John Gibson||2||39||2011|
|Arizona Coyotes||1979||Patrick DesRochers||1||14||1998|
|Boston Bruins||1963||Evgeni Ryabchikov||1||21||1994|
|Buffalo Sabres||1970||Tom Barrasso||1||5||1983|
|Calgary Flames||1972||Brent Krahn||1||9||2000|
|Chicago Blackhawks||1963||Jimmy Waite||1||8||1987|
|Colorado Avalanche||1979||Jocelyn Thibault||1||10||1993|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||2000||Pascal Leclaire||1||8||2001|
|Dallas Stars||1967||Jack Campbell||1||11||2010|
|Detroit Red Wings||1963||Jim Rutherford||1||10||1969|
|Edmonton Oilers||1979||Grant Fuhr||1||8||1981|
|Florida Panthers||1993||Spencer Knight||1||13||2019|
|Los Angeles Kings||1967||Jamie Storr||1||7||1994|
|Minnesota Wild||2000||Josh Harding||2||38||2002|
|Montreal Canadiens||1963||Ray Martyniuk||1||5||1970|
|Nashville Predators||1998||Brian Finley||1||6||1999|
|New Jersey Devils||1974||Martin Brodeur||1||20||1990|
|New York Islanders||1972||Rick DiPietro||1||1||2000|
|New York Rangers||1963||Al Montoya||1||6||2004|
|Ottawa Senators||1992||Mathieu Chouinard||1||15||1998|
|Philadelphia Flyers||1967||Brian Boucher||1||22||1995|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||1967||Marc-Andre Fleury||1||1||2003|
|San Jose Sharks||1991||Terry Friesen||3||55||1996|
|St. Louis Blues||1968||John Davidson||1||5||1973|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||1992||Riku Helenius||1||15||2006|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||1963||Eric Fichaud||1||16||1994|
|Vancouver Canucks||1970||Troy Gamble||2||25||1985|
|Washington Capitals||1974||Olaf Kolzig||1||19||1989|
|Winnipeg Jets||1999||Kari Lehtonen||1||2||2002|
That would be Terry Friesen, taken with the 55th pick of the 1996 NHL Draft.
Besides the Sharks, only the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild have never selected a goalie in the first round. Regarding the Vancouver Canucks, while Troy Gamble is the highest-drafted netminder in franchise history, they did pick Cory Schneider 26th-overall in the first round of the 2004 NHL Draft.
As it turns out, the San Jose Sharks, all the way back to the ’90s, were on the vanguard of the “don’t draft goalies high” trend that’s shaped the last decade or so of the NHL Draft.
For example, this past decade was the first decade that a netminder was not drafted in the top-10, since the inception of the modern NHL Draft in 1969.
|Drafted Goalies by Decade||1st-round Picks||Top-10 Picks||Top-31 Picks|
As Payne pointed out, “It’s been proven over the years that some of the better guys are drafted later in the draft.”
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